Thursday :: Aug 16, 2007

Authorizing the War for Resources

by soccerdad

A number of excellent posts today tie together and provide context for the actions of our government. Lets first do the what and then we will get to the why.

Arthur Silber has his last post, so he says, on the inevitable march to war with Iran. He points out the importance of the governments action to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "specially designated global terrorist,". Why is this important? Arthur points us to this article by Will Bunch. The bottom line is that be so designating the Revolutionary Guard, it brings an attack on them under the umbrella of the 2002 Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF) originally used for the attack on Iraq. Arthur also points out that such an attack is also covered under the 2001 AUMF for Afghanistan and cites the relevant language.

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States...

From the 2002 AUMF

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

So Bush can attack Iran as Commander in Chief given the "implicit authorization" of the AUMFs. Now there may be 1 naive person left out there that is saying "well Congress will stop him especially since int under Democratic leadership". Arthur thoroughly debunks that concept.


With regard to Iran in particular, the current Democratic Congress has already approved the critical rationales for an attack. The Senate approved -- by a vote of 97 to nothing -- an amendment that accuses Iran of committing acts of war against the United States.

In a similar manner, the House approved a resolution -- by a vote of 411 to 2 -- that contained this language:
Whereas Iran has aggressively pursued a clandestine effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons...

I highly recommend reading the entire post. Now on to the why.

For those who visit the Oil Drum the following will not be news. In today's TomDispatch Michael Klare who has written extensively on the politics of oil, summarizes the recent evidence that the oil shortage is coming faster than he original thought.

....."Based on [our] analysis," the U.S. Department of Energy confidently asserted in 2004, "[we] would expect conventional oil to peak closer to the middle than to the beginning of the 21st century."

Recently, however, a spate of high-level government and industry reports have begun to suggest that the original peak-oil theorists were far closer to the grim reality of global-oil availability than industry analysts were willing to admit. Industry optimism regarding long-term energy-supply prospects, these official reports indicate, has now given way to a deep-seated pessimism, even in the biggest of Big Oil corporate headquarters.

After reviewing the recent reports Dr. Klare tells us the bottom line.

The numbers are actually staggering. Just to satisfy a demand for an extra 10 million or so barrels per day between now and 2012, two million barrels per day in new oil would have to be added to global stocks yearly. But even this calculation is misleading, as Eagles of the IEA made clear. In fact, the world would initially need "more than 3 million barrels per day of new oil each year [just] to offset the falling production in the mature fields outside of OPEC" -- and that's before you even get near that additional two million barrels.

In other words, what's actually needed is five million barrels of new oil each year, a truly daunting challenge since almost all of this oil will have to be found in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Venezuela, and one or two other countries. These are not places that exactly inspire investor confidence of a sort that could attract the many billions of dollars needed to ramp up production enough to satisfy global requirements.

The National Petroleum Council submitted a report to the Department of Energy that laid out the projected cost to find the oil to meet the expected demand of 2030.
Again, the numbers involved are staggering. According to the NPC, an estimated $20 trillion in new investment (that's trillion, not billion) will be needed between now and 2030 to ensure sufficient energy for anticipated demand. This works out to "$3,000 per person alive today" in a world in which a good half of humanity earns substantially less than that each year.

So the prolonged war for resources has commenced, i.e. war on Iraq. To be followed at a convenient time by Iran and if I was Chavez I would not fly anywhere. The shortage of oil will obviously bring about much higher prices for oil. People have claimed that $200/barrel is within 1-2 years. The increased price will cripple the US economy and that of Europe. None the less, the continued funding of the military will be essential for the procurement of oil in Africa, the Middle East etc. Its important to remember that as long as the oil and natural gas stays in the ground, instead of being shipped to China etc, the the American policy is working.

And of course the slow erosion of civil liberties here at home and the establishment of the surveillance state, should facilitate proper control of the populace. And of course the bad economy should make military service one of the few ways to make money and get health care.

soccerdad :: 6:04 PM :: Comments (19) :: Digg It!